With all of the roster turnover and injury to Gordon Hayward, a slow start to the #Celtics season could have been excused. But Brad Stevens is proving once again, just like he has in previous years, that he is a top-tier NBA coach. With a point guard (#Kyrie Irving) not exactly known for his defense, a rookie (Jayson Tatum), and second-year player (Jaylen Brown) all in the starting lineup, #Boston has the second-ranked defense in the league and proved it tonight against the Spurs, holding them to just 94 points.

Irving and Brown led the Celtics to a first quarter four-point lead with nine points each. The Celtics upped the lead to five at half-time and then went on a third quarter run to extend that number to double digits and never looked back.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Celtics Game MVP

Maybe Kyrie Irving knew something this offseason that everyone else didn't. With LeBron James and the Cavs off to an uneven start at 3-4, Irving came into the game averaging 21.3 points on a 5-2 team. Against the Spurs, Irving's talent for getting in the lane was on full display. That attribute combined with his silky smooth jumper helped Irving to a game-high 24 points on 10-16 shooting.

Rest of Celtics' starters

Al Horford is the epitome of stability. While not a rim protector, it's Horford who sets the tone defensively for the Celtics by guarding multiple positions and switching effectively on the pick-and-roll. Along with multiple ferocious dunks, Horford knocked down several open jump shots to the tune of 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Jaylen Brown continued his strong start to the season with 18 points.

Advertisements

Rooke Jayson Tatum hauled in 11 rebounds, but struggled to find his shot, shooting just 2-7 from the field for seven points. Center Aron Baynes had six points and five rebounds

Celtics' bench

Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier were both fantastic off-the-bench, helping the Celtics break open the game in the second-half. Smart played 30 minutes and finished with nine points and seven assists. Rozier chipped in 12 points.

Final thoughts

If Brad Stevens is a top-tier coach, then Spurs' Coach Greg Popovich remains the gold standard. Much like the Celtics, the Spurs haven't allowed an injury to their best player (Kawhi Leonard) to be a major detriment to their season. But while San Antonio raced out to a 4-0 start, they have lost three games in a row. But with their next six games at home, the Spurs have a chance to rack up a several more victories until Leonard returns.

The top player for the Spurs was Brandon Paul, who had 18 points and five rebounds off-the-bench.